Guns & Drugs

An article in the Huffington Post in 2012 wrote about the profits the firearms industry in America makes from selling guns and ammunition:

Making and selling guns and ammunition is a lucrative business for U.S. firearms companies, which will earn nearly $1 billion in profit this year, according to the market research firm IBISWorld. -Huffington Post, Dec 12, 2012

This article was originally posted in 2013 after the Sandy Hook massacre by Adam Lanza. Everything here still applies today after Nikolas Cruz’s senseless killings in a Florida school. Early reports indicate that mental illness and possibly psychotropic drugs also played a role in this needless tragedy. What is wrong with having armed people in schools to protect children? Makes no sense to me not to.

Later in the same article they revised the figures slightly downward:

Guns and ammunition manufacturers will make a projected $993 million in profits on sales of $11.7 billion this year, according to a report issued by the market-research company IBISWorld.

I guess they had to stretch just a tad in the lead of paragraph – “billion” sounds better than “millions.” Nowhere in this article does the author put those projected profits into any sort of reasonable perspective.

More and more young people are being prescribed psychotropic drugs today.
More and more young people are being prescribed drugs today.

Another concern voiced by some in regards to the recent senseless shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was the possibility that psychotropic drugs might, in a few cases, turn otherwise just seriously mentally ill young boys into remorseless killers playing out a fantasy in a drug induced hallucination.

According to a Huffington Post article:

The number of children and teens taking antipsychotic medications has skyrocketed in recent years, with psychiatrists prescribing the drugs in nearly one-in-three visits with youth, a new study found. -Huffington Post

The drug industry certainly makes a lot more profit than the gun industry as shown in this chart below:

Gun Industry vs. Drug Industry
The drug industry worldwide makes over a 100x more than the gun industry in the U.S.

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Universal Background Checks

Universal background checks for gun sales could be done in a way that many gunowners could support.
Universal background checks for gun sales could be done in a way that many gunowners could support.

Universal background checks for firearms purchases is one of the more common mantras of the gun-control crowd. Currently almost all purchases of a firearm through a licensed dealer require a background check through the FBI. One exception, at least in Texas, is that no background check is required for holders of a Texas concealed carry permit. The problem, at least in the eyes of some, is that private sales between residents of the same state do not require any background check in many states. Note though that Federal law prohibits private sales between individuals from different states.

Reasonable people, even 2nd Amendment advocates like myself,  do have valid concerns about firearms falling into the hands of criminals and the mentally insane. But many reasonable people also have valid concerns about government overreach and they have the examples of the U.K. and Australia where mounting regulations, registration, and requirements for firearms purchases eventually led to bans and confiscation.

Is there a way to satisfy both demands? Is there a way to potentially satisfy the rational concern about unfit people legally purchasing firearms and the equally rational concern about government abuse of a Constitutional right “to keep and bear arms”?

There is.

Not all people will be totally satisfied but perhaps a majority can feel that not only are they doing something about gun violence, they are also not giving even more power to government. That government through the NSA has already shown little respect for individual privacy. That government through the IRS has shown a blatant willingness to inject political favoritism in the denying or delaying tax-exempt status to un-favored Conservative and Tea Party organizations.

So how could we accomplish this and meet demands of safety and not growing government? How about universal background checks? Create a system where everyone gets a background check whether or not they ever plan to buy a firearm. Encode the result on the driver’s license or state id.

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Is The Real Problem The Guns?

A Farm Somewhere In America
A Farm Somewhere In America

The real problem with guns in America today is not the guns. It is the irrational social policies that foster dependence, drugs, and crime. If there is one single social characteristic that has been most eroded in my lifetime it is that of personal responsibility. Proponents of big government and gun control have two messages they repeat endlessly: “It is not your fault,” and “We will take care of you.

If you want to see how well they will take care of you if you give them responsibility for your life then visit one of the four cities in the table below. They had the distinction of having the highest homicide rates in America in 2016:

Municipality Homicides (2016) Population (2016) Homicides / 100K
St. Louis 188 311,404 60.37
Baltimore 318 621,849 51.14
New Orleans 176 389,617 45.17
Detroit 302 677,116 44.60

Source: Wikipedia

These four cities rank right up there with some of the most violent (top 50) cities in the world. All of these cities have several things in common. First they have been run by Democrats for decades. Secondly they have large populations of blacks who are the most adversely affected by the welfare state and gun control.

Dr. Thomas Sowell put it very well when he said of the black family:

“The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.”

“Cities with some of the tightest gun control laws in the nation have murder rates far above the national average.”

“Although gun control is not usually considered a racial issue, a wholly disproportionate number of Americans killed by guns are black. But here, as elsewhere, liberals’ devotion to their ideology greatly exceeds their concern about what actually happens to flesh and blood human beings as a result of their ideology.”

-Liberalism Versus Black

Someone said that, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.” Democrats are masters of doing the same thing over and over again and being surprised that nothing much changes (unless it is for the worse).

In the final analysis gun control is trying to treat the symptoms of the disease while ignoring the cause. Lots of Americans not living in the welfare state in America own lots of guns and do not kill each other at the high rates we see in these cities run by Democrats. If guns were the cause then Texas would be a bloodbath from one side to the other.


Also see:

Guns Designed To Kill, Or To Save Life?

A Nation of Cowards